Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Here: I write. Alot. I have reviewed and compiled 256 snippets and/or makeshift chapters, numbered each, and now I am seeing how they 'fit' together. In other words, which belong at the beginning, in the middle, at the crumbled end: how shall I reveal my characters, the setting, the insights and the transformative events and lessons? My friend Susan said, "Oh, you mean that book you started two years ago?" She is such a wise guy, and I know she is encouraging me in her own way. It is Susan who looked at some of the artwork in my house and said, "That needs to go! Nobody smiles in those paintings! Put that part away for good." She is right about that too.
Change of topic: I haven't said much about my beloved old girl Stella lately. She is so noble and brave. The muscle mass in her right rear leg has atrophied to the point where the leg often cannot hold her and she is prone to falling. This has cramped the length and joy of her walks and sometimes JB and I look at one another wondering if the time will be soon that the joy of her body massages and cookies and now chicken in her meals will be enough. We have this contraption that wraps around the lower part of her body and it has a handle so we can hold and keep her legs up. But we haven't used it yet. It is a clear announcement that she will no longer make do on her own walks, and in her own way, and ours, we're not ready for that yet.
.JB and I fell asleep on the couch last night, dressed and accessorized. Who cares?! I wrote this morning, we met with a realtor to rent out this place for a couple of weeks this summer (a financially responsible thing to do). We walked to the corner for breakfast (marianne and lo, yes, there), I have been blogging and cursing blogger for the comment problems, and tonight we will have pizza and salad here with old friends.
It's a good thing I walked along the beach yesterday and across town the day before because writing is so sedentary!When I'm in the zone, I have to remember to move.
The town is hopping with visitors kicking off the sart of summer. The bay inlet is still pristine, not yet traces of fuel oil from the motor boats just past the jetty. The sky blues and pinks and oranges are spectacular, the ocean glistens with thousands of tiny pearl lights bouncing of it, the art galleries are wondrous and stimulating, the folks here are jovial and easy going.
I have alot of history here, most of it awesome. August of 2008 was my the lowest. I don't talk about it too much anymore, and I can tell my emotions and armor have shifted for the better. But some things I think we're meant to carry. Maybe they build character, expand compassion, soften the unexplainable.
Two days ago, just before dusk, I saw dozens of gulls flying and gliding with the wind. The wind must have been perfect for them because they moved their wings effortlessly, if at all, banded together toward where?--maybe their perfect spot on this thin strip of beach.
But there was one gull who had fallen behind and was struggling mightily to keep his/her wings moving. S/He was obviously hurt and giving everything to keep up with his tribe. I wanted to help that gull. I stood on the sidewalk and I looked up and my mind flashed through the possibilities of how I could rescue that gull. Even though I knew better.
I was witnessing something between a gull and nature and it could not be my business. I was reminded again of what I continually need to know: there are times when caring and trying simply can't and won't make things my way. I don't like that I've been taught this lesson, but it's one I know I need to know.
Oh, and did I mention we're not here alone?
Friday, May 27, 2011
It's been a long time since I've done silly something like this on my blog. I hope you might do it too. And wouldn't you know I had to deal with my age first thing. I must be feeling brave tonight :^)
A is for age: 43 years old. This is not my actual age but it is how old I would be if I didn’t know how old I am. I am actually 63. If this is a shock to any of you, please know it is a shock to me too.
B is for beer of choice: I don’t drink. I can’t drink. That’s another story. But if I did drink, I wouldn’t drink beer. I was a fine wine and zambuca girl…
C is for career: I've been a self employed counselor/consultant/trainer until three years ago when I became a psychotherapist, which I also like, and I am also happily (and finally officially) a writer.
D is for favorite Drink: hands down, my favorite is Italian Roast Coffee. Every morning I squeal with delight while it’s brewing.
E is for Essential item(s) you use everyday: Ok, no lipstick, no pearl necklace for me. It’s a pen and paper, with my computer and iphone close behind. I’d be lost and longing without them.
F is for Favorite song at the moment: Eva Cassidy’s Fields of Gold. It makes me cry everytime.
H is for How About Whatever Favorite I Choose: Okay, I choose my favorite color. It is green, like grass.
G is for favorite Game: I hate games. I try to avoid board games especially. I will play poker or whist but that’s all. Please don’t ask me to play board games. Please.
I is for Instruments played: Guitar, piano, tuba, trumpet, violin, drums, and sax. No, none of this is true. I made it up to impress for a fleeting second.
J is for favorite Juice: Fresh squeezed orange juice.
K is for Kids: I have one darling daughter of my own, two grandsons ages 4 and 2, and one more grandson, currently and temporarily named 'Sparky, on the way. I love kids of all ages and sizes.
L is for last kiss: JB tonight. I also kiss my friends and am happy giving little kisses on the cheeks of people I like.
M is for marriage: Yes. 21 years unofficially. 4 years legally. 25 years in all Happily, with bumps and lumps, but always with love.
N is for full Name: Can’t do that in Blogland. Hahaha, that's what I thought when I started my blog. It's not hard to know my name, that's for sure. It's not my favorite, but my parents must have liked it.
O is for Overnight hospital stays: one at age 5 when my tonsils were removed; one at age 30 with the birth of my daughter; one at age 33 for a scary biopsy, and one for back surgery
P is for phobias: I have my share: the worse are being alone at airports, driving in snow and ice, and public speaking (all of which my work has required).
Q is for quote: 'Ride the Horse in the Direction She's Going'
R is for biggest Regret: hmm. I wish I had saved more money faster. But then again, I’m not sure I would change anything either. If I have to sell shoes at Macy’s when I’m 85, I just hope I don’t have to touch strange feet. :^)
S is for sports: I love baseball. It is mystical and magical. I believe I am an expert on the game.
T is for Time you wake up: varies: usually by 7:00 am, sometimes 8 on weekends, occasionally 5 or 6 am, which is my favorite time of all.
U is for color underwear: most often black. And they match.
V is for Vegetable you love: Is an artichoke a vegetable? I love artichokes, especially reaching the heart and dipping it in lemon butter or holidaise sauce.
W is for Worst Habit: I can perseverate and nag in an attempt to have it my way.
X is for X-rays you’ve had: Because I think this is a stupid question, I decline to answer it.
Y is for Yummy food you make: I make a mean garlic and cheese bread, my dad’s spaghetti sauce, and I just mastered turkey gravy—after at least 300 attempts.
Z is for Zodiac sign: Leo the Lion, but even though I may act regal I have learned humility.
There have not been many meme's on the the blogs in many months. Memes are not usually my favorites. But I invite you to try your hand at this alphabet challenge. Did you learn anything interesting about me? Because if you did, it stands to reason that it will be good to learn some interesting things about you.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
If I were in grad school and my professor wrote "Show don't tell" on my dissertation paper, I would scream in frustration. Understanding what this advice/requirement/rule actually means has dodged me for a hundred years.
But I'm starting to understand. It's a good thing, since a writer who tells and fails to show is going to have boring bored readers.
I have a feeling that 'show don't tell' is equally necessary to painters, photographers, sculptors, musicians. So with the hope of touching upon something more universal than just important to me, writing a book, here's some clarification of what 'show don't tell' looks like and doesn't look like.
From Judith Barrington, Writing the Memoir: "Your writing will be far more engaging if you show your readers the particular squint in your father's left eye that appeared as he got angry, or if you show them the thumping of your mother's fist on an oak table before she burst into tears, than if you merely tell them that your father was prone to fits of anger or that your mother often cried out of frustration."
Mave grimaced. "Not really. Not like you usually do."
"I know,"Casey said. "I'm due for another cut, but I can't seem to find will or wind power to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment."
Here is a favorite example: "It was a hot, sultry afternoon." I am telling you this. If I want to show you, I could say, "The afternoon blazed and sweated."
Not so easy.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
We won't be here all summer (work!) but at least some of the time I can come and go. I can say I live here part-time if I want to. I can reconnect with friends here AND I can hole myself up to write. I finished The Light Stays On here, on this red couch. I also felt the full impact of a heart smashed in pieces here, and I know that this is a place that heals me. Sometimes I sound so dramatic when I talk about my broken heart or my human struggles, and sometimes I think I should explain that I have a good life, that I believe I am a lucky person, that I am grateful for abundance in love and friendship and material comfort and in certain kinds of wisdom and whimsy.
This is a picture of the bay one block down the street. It will not be unusual for me to walk to it most mornings I am here, whatever the season. When Mr. Ryand and Drew are here, we will take them to the bay at around 7 or 8 am, roll up our pants and take off our shoes and walk into low tide, stepping around the slimy seaweed, looking for baby crabs and finding schools of tiny fish in the salt water ripples.
On this bay, for years, with JB, with my dog Rosie, alone, I have walked and strolled and dipped and paddled and dreamed and imagined and envisioned and most of all let myself fall into the time and rhythm of the tides.
Here I am again. JB and I did little this morning, went to the town wide yard sales this afternoon, to the hardware store, to the kitchen shop. Now we are back for a short while before we walk to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants (Front Street). And tomorrow I will write. I may paint a wall or two too.
It's all fine.
I wish you the same, in whatever way.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
And here's the notice part: I'd say 95% of the time people smile back at me. Not tight little formal smiles, but real ones.
http://loritimesfive.blogspot.com sf Lori Graham
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
There is a lesson about not just stealing but overeating that even I should be aware of. I'm telling you to save you some trouble. There is no charge for the advice.
Monday, May 09, 2011
Okay: this post showed up on Google Reader on Mother's Day but I pulled it because I couldn't get the spacing right. But some things are more important than spacing, so here it is.
My mother’s eyes glisten across the room. Cat green and softened by age, they look at me pleadingly.
“I know I can’t be alone,” she says, “but could we find someone to live with me?”
She looked ten years younger. She acted and spoke masterfully, guiding her hands effortlessly toward the right dishes and acting surprised when something seemed out of place. Then she looked at my dog Stella, who had come along for the weekend, and said, “Karen, how long have I been gone?”
I slept on the couch so when she woke up she would not be afraid or unsafe. Four times I met her in the dim hallway and she breathed a sigh of relief when she saw me.
“Where am I?” she asked. I said, “Mom, you’re in your own house.”
My father and grandfather built this house and my parents lived in it for 63 years before my father died. My mother always said she would never leave it alive and she almost pulled it off.
Her first morning home, my mother smiled at me. “You won’t believe this,” she said, “but I’m not going to mind going back.”
She looked confused. “I don’t normally complain do I?” she said.
A few days later I asked my mother if she remembered going home.
Sunday, May 08, 2011
Friday, May 06, 2011
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Monday, May 02, 2011
Subtitled: Damp Dark Debilitating Thoughts Spilling Forth to Slow One Down, or Delicious Daring Doubtless Musings Sputtering Down to Push One Forth
I wait until the steam builds up, when my breathing slows and I am safely submerged, I wait until my mind reviews the price of being tethered and the luck of being smart.